Your EDC (everyday carry) gear is probably one of your most important "preps". It's your first line of defense/preparedness if anything were to happen. Everyone has their keys, wallet, cell phone, etc.. But what if you were mugged? Could you defend yourself? What if you are in a car wreck and don't have cell service and you're stuck in your seat belt? Could you cut yourself out? These are just a couple of examples of real situations that can happen. Are you prepared for that?
The first step I would recommend is to obtain your concealed carry permit and purchase a handgun. Don't buy the cheapest thing you find either. Get a pistol that you are comfortable with and something from a reputable company such as Glock, Sig Sauer, and Walther to name a few. Once you decide your weapon, you'll want to get a good belt and holster set up. I prefer Wolf Tactical belts and T-Rex Arms holsters. This is just personal preference based off my own experience, but they both make high quality products at prices that won't break the bank. If you live in a state/municipality that doesn't allow handguns or concealed carry then I would highly recommend that you relocate to somewhere that does. It can save your life. Once you purchase a weapon you need to get out there and shoot it and get comfortable with it. Seek training from professionals and train and then train some more. If you don't feel comfortable with it then you absolutely should not be carrying it. You will be more of a danger to yourself and others than if you were unarmed.
The next thing I would recommend would be to pick up a good knife. Fixed blades are ideal as they are stronger, but carrying a fixed blade knife everyday is certainly not for everyone. A folder is the way to go for most people. Again, buy from a reputable company. CRKT, Kershaw, SOG, and Benchmade are all great ones. Knives are super handy for anyone and everyone to have. There are endless uses for pocket knives.
Another great thing to carry is a multitool. There's only one that I recommend and that's a Leatherman. I have several and they are the by far the best company out there in that arena. I personally prefer the Leatherman Skeletool, but they have a multitude of options depending on what your needs may be. You never know when you may need a small pliers or a screwdriver and to have that all in one tool is invaluable.
Many people seem to like their Apple watches and things of that nature. I wear a Garmin Instinct Tactical and it's a phenomenal piece of equipment to have. One nice feature is that it can map out your trail using GPS so if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are out for a walk or you are in the woods camping or hiking, you can actually track the path that you take to easily find your way back. Plus, not only can you monitor your heart rate and your sleep quality, but the battery lasts for several weeks at a time without the need to charge.
A flashlight is another must have. There are tons and tons of flashlight manufacturers out there. You may think that a light is just a light but this is not the case. As with everything, you get what you pay for. Flashlights are no different. Streamlight and Surefire are in my opinion the best out there. I have a Coast light that is decent, but they don't seem to last. I keep a Streamlight TLR-1 HL on my EDC pistol and it's phenomenal. I also have 4-5 other models that I use at work and for edc as well. When purchasing a light you want to be mindful of the lumens that it's rated for and make sure it matches your intended use.
This list could go on and on, but these are just the essential items that I think everyone should have on them any time they leave their house. There are a lot of other items that you should have with you as well, so I recommend you also have an everyday carry bag that you toss in your vehicle when you head out. I'll have a separate article to go over what that looks like and I hope you'll come back to check it out! Thanks for reading and stay safe out there.